Pad thai from the street stands of Bangkok is easily one of the best food bargains in the world! I felt sort of guilty for all the work these people went through to earn less than $1, but 25 – 30 baht was the going rate for a vegetarian pad thai consisting of noodles, cabbage, mung bean sprouts, fried onion, peanuts, and egg.
How do they turn a profit?
Street food isn’t for everyone. Corners are cut; for example, street pad thai often uses soy sauce in place of fish sauce, and vinegar in place of tamarind. There are cleanliness and food safety issues to consider. And it can be awkward to walk or sit on a curb and eat, but street dining is one of my favorite travel experiences!
Pad thai is traditionally made with rice noodles, but this another area in which the street vendors cut costs. Still, most offer a choice of 3 different types of noodles and the pad thai is still much better than anything I’ve had outside of Thailand.
Sour, salty, spicy, and sweet with a little bit of crunch for less than $1, what’s not to like? Some vendors offer a variety of sauces, but the more traditional stands outside of the touristy areas simply offer white sugar and crushed red pepper. And you have to eat it with chopsticks :)